There is a teaching from the tradition of the Q'ero people of Peru and their Medicine Wheel that I love. It is the teaching of Serpent.
When we study Serpent we see that it sheds its skin on a regular basis in exchange for a new skin. As it grows, so too must its skin. When this process of shedding begins Serpent allows the transition and transformation to take place. The act of shedding the old skin is complete. Serpent doesn't retract into the old skin or recoil, it simply allows the process to take place in full.
During the process of shedding the Serpent is temporarily blind. This is a place of vulnerability for Serpent, yet it remains patient and diligent as it releases the old skin. Serpent trusts the process of transition.
It is only through the shedding of the skin that Serpent can grow. It is no different for us.
I recently sat down with a close friend and we shared how so many of the reasons why we landed in a 10-month yoga training are no longer relevant. That's not to say that we view those reasons as no longer being pertinent, they are. But the difference is that we no longer feel the need to justify why we are on our current path.
Imagine your life as a big patchwork quilt. As we grow we add a square here, building the stitches as we go. Eventually, the square is fully a part of the quilt and we begin to add another square. This is the case with experiences we have that impact us so deeply that we step back and look at our life. You can't remove the square because each square holds the entire piece together, but what you can choose to do is move onto adding another square. Yet so many of us get caught in the loop of prolonging pain by repeating, re-telling, re-sharing our stories over and over again.
What I know is that I didn't consciously choose to stop telling many of my stories. As we turn the dial on who we are, there comes a moment when we realize we've made a full 360 degree turn and we are no longer the person we were at the beginning.
When I realized that the catalysts for stepping onto the path of Kundalini yoga were no longer the reasons keeping me here, I was able to fully see how grateful I am for the lessons I have learned, the growth that has been stimulated, the changes that have been made. And while there was a time of mourning the woman I was when I re-told my old stories, I am no longer that woman. I am grateful for every step and tear that she shed so that I could step into who I am today. The best parts of her are still within me and always will be. And with each shedding of a story or belief, I no longer hold, I am able to travel greater distances, faster and with greater confidence. I am more powerful and can see further.